Calvin Was Wrong, Mostly


While Hobbes was the Tiger of Reason, Calvin had the option to be the 8-year-old of Middle School (Il)Logic, hence his ideas about what made good writing. One of the most troubling things about teaching young people (and the younger they are, the worse it is) is that what you teach is not the same as what they learn. Hence, college freshman are still wedded to the Dread Five Paragraph Essay (like the Dread Pirate Roberts, except it actually does kill you in the morning. Every morning when you hand in a paper after fifth grade.)

As I face the hard fact of Fall Semester 2015, after having taught writing for longer than my incoming students have been alive, I hope to find a Hobbes-like way around the Calvin-like assumptions of my freshmen. Wish me luck, or, failing that, a really fast sled that can take the curves of the coming snow mounds!

4 comments on “Calvin Was Wrong, Mostly

  1. Kat Myrman says:

    Something tells me you’ve got this. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Widdershins says:

    Here’s a story I heard quite a while back, probably fiction, but you never know … In the days of yore, a teacher tasked their class to write a story. (can’t remember what the subject was) One smart-alec said he couldn’t think of anything to write. The teacher smacked the smart-alec upside the head and said, “Write about that!”
    I’m certainly not condoning that sort of ‘inspiration’, but sometimes young minds need a metaphorical ‘smack upside the head’ to shock them out of their strange notions.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One of my all-time favorite Calvin & Hobbes comics. I’m also in the midst of teaching college freshmen to switch codes and learn newer, more flexible strategies for writing. God bless us, ’cause no one else is gonna! πŸ™‚


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